BUFFALO, NY-- A West Seneca woman pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing funds from the Buffalo Firemen's Pension Fund.
Investigators from the NYS Attorney General's office and NYS Comptroller's office say Pearlann MacVittie admitted to stealing more than $290,000 in benefits from the pension fund by pretending to be her mother, who died in 1983.
“Concealing the death of one's parent to steal from their pension shortchanges those who rely on these benefits -- in this case, brave firefighters and their families,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a released statement. “Today's conviction is evidence of our steadfast commitment to rooting out and prosecuting pension fraud.”
MacVittie's mother, Lola Martin, was eligible for benefits during her lifetime following the death of her husband Buffalo Fireman William J. Martin. MacVittie continued collecting the benefits after her mother died by signing her mother's name on yearly forms.
The fraud was uncovered during an audit and investigation by the NYS Comptroller's office
“From the day her mother died, Pearlann MacVittie tarnished her memory by stealing $291,070 in pension checks in her mother's name from the city of Buffalo's Fireman's Pension Fund,” said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in a statement.. “I thank my auditors and investigators for uncovering this brazen scam against the city and its taxpayers.”
MacVittie, 73, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 22nd at 9:30 am.